The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture (Mapa) has signed an agreement with eight states in the country's North East to join the official Foot-and-Mouth Disease free zone.
The deal was signed by members of Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture and by secretaries for the states of Alagoas, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pará, Pernambuco, Piaui and Rio Grande do Norte last week.
The main goal of the project is to enable the region to be nationally recognised as Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) free zone with vaccination this year, which will require the implementation of recommended improvements and the results of seroepidemiological investigations.
This includes a correction of errors or deficiencies in the states' animal sanitary practices found through federal audits in 2011 and early 2012.
No virus circulation
Guilherme Marques, director of the Department of Animal Health said, "We need to make sure that there is no virus circulation in the region and that states have a minimum structure to maintain the status achieved. We want to pass the block as a whole so that we can make a single entry for the entire region, with the World Organization for Animal Health."
Brazil's federal government has already invested B$100 million (US$54.56 million) to help the states achieve FMD-free recognition.
The states of Bahia and Sergipe have already been declared free from FMD, as has North Central Pará. Seroepidemiological surveys must now be completed in the states of Alagoas, Ceará, Maranhão, Pará, Pernambuco and Piaui.
So far, Paraiba and Rio Grande do Norte have not met minimum requirements in their last inspections, and they will face transportation restrictions of animals susceptible to FMD, and food products to other states. The two states need to undergo further evaluation.
It is expected that the two states will make adjustments in time to participate in the sero-epidemiological survey and the rest of the process along with other states.
• Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture